The Premier of this province has been bumbling around, talking about how his party wants to create a distinct “nation within a nation” in Saskatchewan, and that they want to somehow create a more autonomous province. There’s media out there today about how a good chunk of folks who live in Saskatchewan think that’s a weird idea. Primarily, this is because it’s a weird idea.
First, let’s take a look at what a “nation within a nation” really is. If we take it to mean an area defined by not only its borders but its people and culture, which are distinct from its neighbours, it’s incredibly difficult to see how Saskatchewan could, in any way, shape, or form, be considered distinct. The Premier has stated it’s related to “being a Saskatchewan cultural identity within the nation of Canada”. What could possibly define Saskatchewan as a distinct cultural identity? Pretend rhomboid borders? Truck nuts? Racism? Drinking and driving? One can only assume the Premier is suggesting Saskatchewan cede “crown” land to Indigenous stewardship.
Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
This suggestion is not only ludicrous, it’s completely asinine. The Premier is *clearly* pandering to the radicalised nitwits who think “the West” should “secede from Canada”. As if we could just pick up our skirts and go.
WE CAN’T AFFORD MORE AUTONOMY.
The current government has frittered away our surplus, has managed to spend its way into a SIZEABLE deficit, even *before* the pandemic hit, and continues to blame everyone – the Opposition, the Feds, the weather, geese, etc., etc., etc.. The idea that they could manage the needs of a province as geographically extensive and as population-challenged as Saskatchewan *with less support from the feds* is mind-boggling.
What does provincial autonomy look like? What does “taking greater control of [Saskatchewan’s] own economic sovereignty” mean? How does the current setup leave our province “threatened by actions and policies of the federal government”? We’ve managed for over a century to work together within confederation. Sure, it hasn’t always been easy, and there’s certainly a reason to consider Saskatchewan “the gap”, both in terms of federal policy and of the relative equity in fiscal and economic programming. However, this government has in no way demonstrated it is at all capable of taking greater control of a fucking COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY, much less its own ‘economic sovereignty’. Whatever that means.
So, what, we have a serious case of wizened beans because the feds don’t, I dunno, just give us all the money we ask for? Because we don’t like the equalisation formula (THIS GOVERNMENT derailed that entire discussion when they took office, so if that’s the case now, what the fuck)? Because we have our innards in a twist over the price on carbon?
In what way does Saskatchewan warrant a ‘special society’ status? We are the FURTHEST thing from distinct, and are PROUDLY so. What’s the one thing that unites Saskatchewan? The one thing that makes us different from the rest of the country? Perpetual disappointment. That’s no, as Dennis the Muckraker would say, basis for a system of government. Making claims that Saskatchewan is distinct because football, farming, and old white dudes is just really sad.
But realistically, what, exactly, would we be doing to “take control of economic sovereignty”? And if we DID manage to come up with an even tangentially workable way of doing that, whose money are we going to manage? Is the suggestion to segregate federal income tax from Saskatchewan workers? And to then use that revenue to provide shitty two-tier medical services and shittier P3 infrastructure with no federal oversight or regulation? We ditch the RCMP and hire a shitload of mall cops to patrol the Greater Metropolitan Smuts Region? We bin the Immigration Act and just kind of make shit up as we go along? Because if we’re “taking control” of our “economic sovereignty”, that would seem to indicate we don’t want federal money, right? Because we hate all those pesky rules about spending it the way we say we’re going to spend it and transparency and being responsible to the people of this country?
Sure, I understand that the SaskParty wants to court the radicalised far right because who DOESN’T want support from the handful of people who think it makes absolute sense to oust its own leader without letting them know about it. Who DOESN’T want support from a handful of yokels who not only can’t figure out simple hyphenation, but who think that it’s possible to have a smaller government while at the same time taking over everything from taxation to transfer payments to education reform to building, funding, and efficiently running a provincial police force. Nothing says “this is a workable party platform” like having a *website* where, at any time, “the People” can force a referendum on any elected post. One of those totally secure, unhackable, uncheatable websites. From a group that don’t know how to use the word “the”. These are the people I want in my camp.
Our government can’t even responsibly handle a land sale/purchase without getting embroigled in enormous scandal. What part of their performance over the last ten years in any way indicates they’d be capable of THINKING autonomously, much less managing part of the federal economy?
It’s fucking stupid, is what it is. It’s stupid, and it’s laughable, and buddy, if you don’t want to be paying between 5% and 11% more income tax and 4% more sales tax, you may need to reconsider things. I’m sure some of the same people who advocate seceding from Canada are the same buttmunches who drove across the fucking country to wave Canadian flags from the antennas of their trucks.